Open-access biorepository for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: The way forward
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Although widespread use of animal modeling has transformed pulmonary research, the overarching goal of biomedical research is to enhance our understanding of human physiology and pathology. Thus, we believe that future gains in understanding human lung disease will be enhanced when studying patient-derived samples becomes an integral part of the investigational process. For idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), investigators need quality human specimens, collected in a standardized fashion, along with carefully annotated, long-term clinical and outcomes data to address current knowledge gaps. Access to human lung tissues through commercial entities or the Lung Tissue Resource Consortium, an NHLBI-funded consortium, has demonstrated the feasibility of this approach. However, these samples are not always well annotated or collected uniformly and are limited in their breadth to address future IPF research needs. Therefore, we propose leveraging ongoing and future studies in IPF to establish a biorepository that will meet current and future needs of IPF investigations. Specifically, we propose that blood, cell, and lung samples, linked to robust longitudinal clinical phenotyping generated from future industry, federally sponsored, and investigator-initiated clinical studies be prospectively and uniformly collected and stored in a biorepository and linked registry. Here we outline standardized methodologies that would allow specimens and clinical data collected from different studies to be integrated and accessible to the IPF research community for investigations that will inform future basic and translational research in IPF. Such a biorepository needs the combined efforts of all stakeholders, to be driven by projected future scientific needs and to be available to all qualified researchers. We believe this infrastructure is crucial, is feasible, and would accelerate research in IPF.